Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s appropriately terrifying take on the domestic drama looks beyond the platitudes of familial values and empty promise of a happy life into the recesses of the human condition. Laid off in a wave of company downsizing, salaryman Ryuhei hides his misfortune, opting instead to deceive his family into thinking he still remains employed. Equally adrift are wife Megumi (Kyoko Koizumi), yearning for someone to pull her out of her banal routines; teen Takashi who sees no future living in Japan, and younger son Kenji who simply desires to play the piano. Searching for catharsis, the family members begin to live out clandestine lives rather than confront their creeping divide. Winner of the Jury Prize of the Un Certain Regard section at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, Kurosawa’s cynical look at the subsurface decay and inadequacies of the traditional family points to its inherent breakdown.
Dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 2008, 119 min., DCP, color, in Japanese with English subtitles. With Teruyuki Kagawa, Kyoko Koizumi, Kai Inowaki., Yu Koyanagi.
Part of Family Portrait: Japanese Family in Flux
February 15—24, 2024
Top Image © 2008 Fortissimo Films / “Tokyo Sonata” Film Partners
The ACA Cinema Project is a new initiative organized as part of the “Japan Film Overseas Expansion Enhancement Project,” an ongoing project founded by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan (ACA) to create opportunities for the increased exposure, development and appreciation of Japanese cinema overseas through screenings, symposiums and other events held throughout the year. The ACA Cinema Project introduces a wide range of Japanese films in the United States, a major center of international film culture, together with local partners, such as Japan Society, IFC Center and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Linwood Dunn Theater.
Japan Society programs are made possible by leadership support from Booth Ferris Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature. Film programs are generously supported by ORIX Corporation USA, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, Anime NYC, and Yen Press. Endowment support is provided by the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Endowment Fund and The John and Miyoko Davey Endowment Fund. Additional season support is provided by The Globus Family, Geoff and Fumi Matters, David Toberisky, and Friends of Film. Transportation assistance is provided by Japan Airlines, the official Japanese airline sponsor of Japan Society Film. Housing assistance is provided by The Prince Kitano New York, the official hotel sponsor of Japan Society Film.
- Sunday, February 18, 2024
- 7:00 pm
- In-Person Event
- Reserved Tickets
- $16 Nonmembers
- $12 Members
- $14 Seniors & Students
- $14 Person with Disability